Do You Judge Northern Wilds by its Cover?
We’re having an ongoing discussion here in the office of Northern Wilds. Since we’ve expanded our coverage to include art, entertainment, community news, dining and more, should we still emphasize the outdoors in our cover photos? This month, we have a great shot from our friend James Smedley in Wawa of a young ice angler who is less than enthused with the squirming fish in her hand. It’s a fun photo, but it doesn’t really relate to any of the stories in this issue. We don’t think that matters.
Over the years, we’ve faithfully stuck to outdoor themes for our covers. In the early years, we ran portraits of Northwoods wildlife. Then we learned many potential readers weren’t picking up the publication, because they assumed it was only about hunting and fishing. That’s when we started using photos of people doing things outdoors, ranging from paddling canoes to surfing on Lake Superior. Even then, we learned folks made wrong assumptions about what was inside. Working at a show in Duluth one winter, we had several people recoil from a cover showing cross-country skiers and exclaim, “I don’t do that stuff!” as if skiing was illegal or bad for you.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we depend on our cover photos entice you to pick up Northern Wilds and look inside. So, how may our covers change in the future? Well, we may occasionally feature relevant local art. We may have covers related to upcoming events or entertainment. But we are unlikely to stray very far from our roots. For 10 years, Northern Wilds has served as a window to all of the fun and adventure that makes the North Shore such a great place to be. Rest assured that we intend to keep the window open for you. – Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt